Coronavirus lockdown | Japan lifts state of emergency in most regions

Grant Boone
May 15, 2020

Koike also said the easing will take place in phases after the central government lifts the state of emergency.

Japan's government is holding a coronavirus task force meeting on Thursday to secure experts' approval on a plan to lift an ongoing state of emergency in most areas ahead of schedule, except for Tokyo and several other higher-risk areas.

A nationwide state of emergency imposed in Japan to blunt the coronavirus pandemic has been lifted with the exception of Tokyo and several other regions.

The Japanese government announced on Thursday that it will lift the state of emergency early in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures.

Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, is also set to remain a target of the state of emergency, but the governor has announced criteria for gradually lifting some restraints on businesses including eaters and bars.

"If each of us fails to exercise full vigilance, the future in two weeks' time is unpredictable".

Brazil registers one-day record for COVID-19 deaths
Brazil has registered 162,699 cases and 11,123 fatalities so far, making it the seventh worst-hit nation, according to the WHO. Sao Paulo city has banned cars from circulating on particular days and tried to block roads to dissuade people from commuting.

Travel between areas under the state of emergency will be avoided. Last week, the government extended the state of emergency to May 31.

It allows local governors to urge people to stay at home and call on businesses to remain shut.

But officials can not compel citizens to comply and there are no punishments for those who fail to do so.

Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka from April 7 to May 6. The number of new cases has significantly decreased nationwide. In addition, the weekly number of new infections must be lower than the previous week.

Japan has reported just over 16,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections with just over 680 deaths, a situation that has overwhelmed the country's healthcare system, hobbled its economy and forced it to postpone the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games for a year.

"As for the 39 prefectures, we were able to contain (the spread of infections) to the level at which it can be prevented with a thorough cluster-focused approach", Abe told reporters.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER